Wellbeing at Christmas

Is it just us or are you counting to 10 as well? Remembering to exhale?! If you need some ideas to help manage stress levels this Christmas, read on…


1 December, 2023

Think about yourself

What works for you? It’s all about tailoring a routine for you. – it’s called ‘me-time’ for a reason.

Live well, do well

We’re going basic here, but sometimes it’s the easiest things that are forgotten first. When it comes to wellness, start small and build to the bigger stuff to say goodbye to Christmas anxiety.

  • Don’t leave things last-minute. Plan ahead to avoid unnecessary stress caused by taking too much on.

  • Get enough sleep. Tiredness can make you to feel rundown, which can prompt all sorts of other unwanted problems.

  • Limit our boozy intake. Drinking too much can lead to arguments, plus there’s always the chance of a hangover – not the way anyone wants to spend Boxing Day.

  • Get outside. It’s well documented: spending time outdoors and getting fresh air helps keep stress levels down.

  • Set a price limit on gifts. It’s not worth going into debt over one day.

A moment of reflection

If spending Christmas alone, we can take the time to decompress after a mad busy year. Enjoy family and friends FaceTime and chats early on if you share the same timeline, then curl up with a good book, magazine or one of the many TV specials that’ll be on. Those bouncing with energy can sign-up to do a Park Run, or join in a Christmas Day swim. Making a plan ahead of time means our schedule will be jam-packed, leaving us busy from dusk to dawn.

You got this!

One of the biggest things to incorporate is the power of saying no. Taking control by setting boundaries is a massive way of improving our wellness, especially at Christmas. If we’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of offers being directed our way, it’s okay to decline a few invites – your loved ones will understand. It might be difficult in the moment, but in the long run it’ll mean we’re not pulling our hair out over building resentment.

People we know might be struggling, so we can help by empowering them. Ask if they need help and let them know you’re at the end of the phone – or WhatsApp chat – or if you live nearby, just down the road. Or, give them space altogether if that’s what they’re wanting. Everyone deals with stress differently, so the best course of action is honouring their wishes. Checking in through texts might seem like nothing, but to some it means the world over.

Friends and family experiencing their first Christmas without a loved one need extra support. Things like lighting a memorial candle, sharing stories and donating to charitable causes will help them feel seen and thought about.

Good vibes all the way

There are other ways to ward off stress – just remember we’re the ones in control. Half the time, problems can be nipped in the bud by communication. If something is wrong, we shouldn’t be afraid of speaking up.

  • Give social media a miss. As the old saying goes, comparison is the thief of joy – we shouldn’t compare our Christmas to what’s online.

  • Self-affirmations. If things are getting too much, we can take a moment and support ourselves through positive thinking.

  • Delegate. If hosting dinner, ask guests to cover things like extra food and drink.

  • Be realistic. Things don’t need to be picture-perfect, so avoid disappointment by not going overboard.

  • Just breathe. Look into breathing techniques for those especially stressful moments.

Christmas resource bank

Below are links to various charities offering support over the Christmas period.